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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 27, Iss. 24 — Dec. 15, 1988
  • pp: 5146–5153

Stability of birefringent linear retarders (waveplates)

P. D. Hale and G. W. Day  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 27, Issue 24, pp. 5146-5153 (1988)

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The effects of changes in temperature, wavelength, and direction of propagation (angle of incidence) on the retardance of zero-order, multiple-order, compound zero-order, and temperature-compensated waveplates are described in detail. A disagreement in the literature regarding the properties of a compound zero-order waveplate is resolved by showing that with respect to temperature and wavelength it behaves like a true zero-order waveplate, but with respect to angle of incidence it behaves like a multiple-order waveplate. A previously proposed temperature-compensated design is shown to suffer from the same directional limitations. A new design for a retarder consisting of one element of a positive uniaxial crystal and one element of a negative uniaxial crystal is proposed. The retardance of such a waveplate would be much less sensitive to the direction of propagation, but somewhat more sensitive to temperature, than a typical compound zero-order waveplate.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: May 23, 1988
Published: December 15, 1988

P. D. Hale and G. W. Day, "Stability of birefringent linear retarders (waveplates)," Appl. Opt. 27, 5146-5153 (1988)

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